Tim Cook awards Apple employees holiday bonus

Apple CEO Tim Cook has given the company's entire staff some extra time off, in recognition of a year of major product launches. The unusual step will benefit most of the company's US staff in time for the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA, while other teams will be free to schedule time suitable to them.

Some observers have commented that the move, which was communicated to Apple staff in a letter from Tim Cook (below) is also in recognition of the loss of Apple founder Steve Jobs, who passed away last week.

Letter from Tim Cook via Macgeneration.com

Team,

I consider it an honor to come to work every day alongside the most innovative and most dedicated people on earth. This is an extraordinary time to be at Apple, and it's all made possible by your incredible efforts.

We've had a record-setting year so far and we're heading into the holidays with the strongest product lineup in our history. Customers are absolutely in love with the iPad 2, and the amazing new iPhone 4S is off to the best start of any iPhone we've ever made. The Mac is soaring to new heights with OS X Lion, and on the eve of its 10th birthday, the iPod is still the world's most popular music player.

In recognition of the hard work you've put in this year, we're going to take some extra time off for Thanksgiving. We will shut down with pay on November 21, 22 and 23 so our teams can spend the entire week with their families and friends.

Of course, Retail and some other groups will need to work that week so we can continue to serve our customers. If you're in one of these groups, please check with your manager about taking time off at a later date. Our international teams will schedule their three-day shutdowns this quarter at a time that's best for them. Details will be available on AppleWeb.

I hope everyone enjoys this much deserved break.

Tim

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